Thursday, April 22, 2010

Portland's Benson Bubblers

Yesterday I was in the South Park Blocks area of downtown and decided to take some photos of these iconic drinking fountains known as Benson Bubblers.

There are 52 four-bowl fountains in various locations around the city.  They're made of copper but years of weathering has given them that antique patina finish.  The following is some information about their history.

"In 1912, Simon Benson, a local businessman and philanthropist, donated $10,000 to the City of Portland to purchase and install 20 bronze drinking fountains, now known as Benson Bubblers.

Local folklore tells us that Simon Benson donated the 20 bronze drinking fountains as an effort to keep loggers out of the saloons at lunchtime. Others say that Benson was inspired after seeing a little girl crying at a 4th of July parade because she couldn't find a drink of water. Either way, the Benson Bubblers have become a historical and enduring legacy here in Portland." (Courtesy of

The fountains run from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., daily. They flow 365 days a year unless we have a freeze, in which case the water bureau shuts them down.  

So if you're ever near Portland and you're thirsty you know you can always get a cold drink of water here! 


  1. Interesting - but and fancy looking things!

  2. Love that first shot I'm really thirsty!!

  3. I love the first shot, up close! Funny I've seen these things all over town and never thought twice about them.

  4. Eve,
    Thank you!

    Me too, we tend to get use to them. Thank you!

  5. I love the first one. The water looks almost metallic. I've heard of the Benson Bubblers, but have never seen one...not that I have spent much time downtown. I enjoyed hearing the history. the second shot near the museum? I've been there! I don't remember seeing the fountains.

  6. These are near the art museum in the park blocks by Portland State. But these are sprinkled all over downtown.